J.C. Penney employee accused of stealing $16,500 via fraudulent refunds

URBANA — An Urbana woman who allegedly made thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent refunds at a store where she worked has been criminally charged with theft.

Kayonna Bufford, 20, who listed an address in the 1200 block of East Pennsylvania Avenue, was arraigned Wednesday in Champaign County Circuit Court on the Class 2 felony theft charge.

Consumer prices flat in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices were unchanged in January, as lower gasoline prices offset the rising costs of housing, clothing and medical care.

The Labor Department said the consumer price index rose only 1.6 percent last month from a year earlier. That matched the slowest pace of annual inflation since June 2017.

Investors who own Toys R Us' assets planning second act by holidays

NEW YORK — Toys R Us fans in the United States should see the iconic brand re-emerge in some form by this holiday season.

Hoopeston's Bricks and Ivy Sports is a little shop of star power

HOOPESTON — Keith Bresnahan didn't know anything about his 50th birthday surprise — other than to "wear Cubs stuff" — before son Cody picked him up in Minooka and began driving south on I-57.

Street closure for 'Hub on Campus' high-rise work delayed

CHAMPAIGN — Public works officials have postponed the first closure of Sixth Street between Green and John streets in Campustown for work on the new "Hub on Campus" high-rise as a result of complications with construction.

More retailers aiming to cash in on cashier-less stores

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Get ready to say good riddance to the checkout line.

A year after Amazon opened its first cashier-less store, startups and retailers are racing to get similar technology in stores throughout the world, letting shoppers buy groceries without waiting in line.

Hasbro earnings miss expectations

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) — Hasbro returned to a profit in its fourth quarter, but the toy company's performance still fell short of Wall Street's expectations as it continues to deal with the demise of Toys R Us.

Shares fell 7.3 percent in Friday premarket trading.

Bankruptcy judge OKs $5.2 billion plan for Sears

NEW YORK (AP) — A bankruptcy judge on Thursday blessed a $5.2 billion plan by Sears chairman and biggest shareholder to keep the iconic business going.

The approval means roughly 425 stores and 45,000 jobs will be preserved.

Green Street strip mall to be razed to make way for apartment building

CHAMPAIGN — Construction crews began preparing Thursday to tear down a Green Street strip mall on the western edge of Campustown to make way for a $30 million, six-story apartment building, according to a building permit sought by the new owners.

Johnson & Johnson to include drug prices in TV advertisements

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will start giving the list price of its prescription drugs in television ads.

The company would be the first drugmaker to take that step.

The health care giant will begin with its popular blood thinner, Xarelto, said Scott White, head of J&J's North American pharmaceutical marketing.